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Published on May 13th, 2014 | by gareth

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H.R. Giger, A Legend Lost

Back in 1979 the idea of a new monster film was always big talk around the school yard. While Michael Myers and Leatherface were just starting the trend of Slasher films, for many of us the monster on the loose had been staple that was bolstered by a local station that ran Science Fiction and horror movies without fail every Saturday.

While most of the films were very low budget and forgettable, the stuff that Mystery Science Theater would soon make famous for their bad quality, one film stood out.

We had endured the disastrous remake of “King Kong” but a new film called “Alien” became all the rage.  The mysterious ad campaign centering around an egg with lines like “In Space No One Can Hear You Scream”, and “When the Egg Breaks, The Audience Will Quake”, intrigued viewers. In the days before social media and the internet, word of mouth, film trailers, and television ads were key to the success of a film, and with a R rated film, it was even more crucial to get this aspect right due to the limitations on how and what could be shown.

Giger cover

The film used a premise not uncommon in films and very much like the classic “It: The Terror From Beyond Space” and “Ten Little Indians”.  The idea of confining people in an inescapable area with a creature on the loose was nothing new, but the idea of doing it with A level talent and production values was a bold concept indeed.

The film was so popular that it became infamous not only for one particular scene but for the creature itself.  A nightmare come to life that combined insect, demon, and images best left unsaid.

The film played well on cable and reached a new generation of fans in the pre VHS days and when a sequel was arrived in 1986, the series iconic creature only grew in status and created strong debate amongst fans who questioned which version of the creature was more accurate.

giger thinking

Suffice it to say that four movies, two spinoffs, a prequel of sorts, and countless books, toys, comics, and games later, the creature is an unforgettable part of movie and pop culture as it has endured over time and still is one of the most iconic of movie monsters.

The film became a hit and inspired numerous

Today the world sadly lost Swiss artist H.R. Giger whose collection of erotic and disturbing artwork became the basis for the creature in “Alien” as well as “Species” and countless other inspirations.

giger alien

Giger tapped into the nightmares that lurk in the Id of all of us and created a bio-mechanical nightmare that is equally haunting and captivating.

The world of art, Science Fiction, and film is at a loss today and going forward and we should all take a moment to reflect on the man and his creations.

Giger the man


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